Thursday, December 16, 2010

Diaspora, Development, and Democracy: The Domestic Impact of International Migration from India

Devesh Kapur, who directs the Centre for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania, has just published a new book: Diaspora, Development, and Democracy: The Domestic Impact of International Migration from India (Princeton University Press / Oxford University Press). A recent review of the book in the Indian Express is available here.

The Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and Oxford University Press are organizing the book launch in India on Thu 23 December at 3:00 PM, Lecture Hall, India International Centre (IIC) Annexe, 40 Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi. A panel discussion will feature Dr. Pratap Bhanu Mehta (President and Chief Executive, CPR), Shri Montek Singh Ahluwalia (Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission), Shri Jairam Ramesh (Minister of State - Independent Charge, Environment and Forests), and Dr. Sanjaya Baru (Editor, Business Standard). All interested should feel free to attend.

From the blurb:

What happens to a country when its skilled workers emigrate? The first book to examine the complex economic, social, and political effects of emigration on India, Diaspora, Development, and Democracy provides a conceptual framework for understanding the repercussions of international migration on migrants' home countries.

Devesh Kapur finds that migration has influenced India far beyond a simplistic "brain drain"--migration's impact greatly depends on who leaves and why. The book offers new methods and empirical evidence for measuring these traits and shows how data about these characteristics link to specific outcomes. For instance, the positive selection of Indian migrants through education has strengthened India's democracy by creating a political space for previously excluded social groups. Because older Indian elites have an exit option, they are less likely to resist the loss of political power at home. Education and training abroad has played an important role in facilitating the flow of expertise to India, integrating the country into the world economy, positively shaping how India is perceived, and changing traditional conceptions of citizenship. The book highlights a paradox--while international migration is a cause and consequence of globalization, its effects on countries of origin depend largely on factors internal to those countries.

A rich portrait of the Indian migrant community, Diaspora, Development, and Democracy explores the complex political and economic consequences of migration for the countries migrants leave behind.
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